Posts Tagged runners

And the winner is….

Well I did it!  I accomplished my goal, finished my second half marathon, and beat my time from last year.  Not by much though and with a real tough recovery.  The race started at 8am but it was a windy and hot 75 degrees and only got hotter. The Boston route was nothing but blue skies with very little shade, so dehydration from the heat and the wind wicking the moisture off your skin was a big issue. I tried to hydrate as best I could but apparently, I did not do enough.

I started great and at mile 8 was doing 7-minute miles. I was thrilled!  However, as I crossed mile 9 my legs started cramping, my feet were on fire and I was getting tired. Oh no, I thought. What happened, I felt like I could barely lift my legs to run. Quitting was not an option but when I saw many other in-shape runners having a hard time, I knew the conditions were tough. In fact, many people had to stop and rest on the side of the road, slowed down or just walked for a bit. 

When I run races, I do not wear my iPod so I had to be my own cheerleader, keep motivated and distract myself from my fatigue and pain.  I started singing to myself but that did not work so I resorted to repeating my mantra: this is my best race ever; this is my best race ever, etc. It worked but what really got me to finish strong were the crowds of people at the last two miles who cheered me on. Thank you! I could not have done it without them. From that point on, I felt like I was super human. Out of nowhere, I came back to life and ran like a bat out of hell.  It was surreal and I remember thinking, where did this come from. It was great and made it all worthwhile.

I felt great right after the run although I could barely feel my body. Luckily, I brought a few Advil and popped them right away to avoid the pain that I knew was coming. By the time I got home, I could barely walk and felt sick. If you have ever run a race, the aftermath of dehydration and the loss of electrolytes is an unpleasant and scary feeling.  You literally cannot function, feel disconnected from your body and are light headed. Given the state I was in, I swore this was my last race and wondered why I put myself through this. I have since changed my mind.  I do love it, the running and the camaraderie.  It brings out the fierce competitor in me, which is very invigorating and makes me feel so alive. The one thing I will do differently next time is drink a ton of Pedialyte right after the race and throughout the remainder of the day. Once I discovered that, I was on my way to a full recovery. It took the better part of the day to feel semi normal and then with some sleep and more Pedialyte I felt much, much better. 

Now I have my second “medal” and next I am going for GOLD!

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